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Inside the CFL: A new can of worms

Ted Michaels, CFL Editor

Hamilton, ON (Sports Network) - The Canadian Football League may have a new issue to deal with.

The CFL, has encouraged it's teams, and players, to use social media to interact with fans.

While on one hand, the interaction can be positive, on the other, head coaches everywhere, most of whom are traditionalists, hate anything that can inflame an opponent.

Exhibit A: Friday night in Winnipeg.

Blue Bomber defensive back Johnny Sears, who wears number zero, was ejected from the game, after a helmet-to-helmet hit on Toronto Argonauts quarterback Steven Jyles.

Immediately after the hit, the twitter world erupted, and two injured Argo offensive lineman, watching the game, led the charge.

Rob Murphy (@BIGMURPH56) tweeted "#0 is lucky I'm not in the Province of Manitoba tonight. They would need the Jaws of Life to pry me off him. I have a good memory."

Taylor Robertson (@TR65) wrote, "I don't know who the hell this #0 guy is but I hope to hell he's in the league next year. I'll take the ejection I don't care."

Murphy, who in the past has written some controversial things, didn't back down from his tweet, and claimed it wasn't a threat to pay back Sears.

"Those of you who think its a threat, get a clue, its called an opinion which is what twitter is."

Other CFL players added their opinion, including Montreal kicker Sean Whyte, who wrote, "Suprises me how smart people are. Trying to end peoples careers"

Paul McCallum, B.C. Lions kicker also got involved, saying, "That was a brutal dirty hit!!! Lead with his head!! Hope he is okay."

The hit was widely discussed on the TSN broadcast, as it should have been. Sears didn't get much sympathy from the panel, which upset several Blue Bomber players, including defensive back Jovon Johnson, who's tweets included, "Too many football players are crybabies go play another sport." And, "Football will be flag football by 2015 just watch!"

Johnson wouldn't stop there. Instead he mentioned the number of times his quarterback, Buck Pierce was hit.

"I love Jyles to death but everybody get all tight becuz he got hit how many times did Buck get hit like that this year and not get called? He shouldn't be outside the pocket running if u don't expect to get hit!"

Johnson also responded to Murphy's tweets.

"Rob Murphy (y)ou aint gon do nothin so stop all the small talk!"

Fellow defensive back Jonathan Hefney defended his teammate.

"He will be in the league next year take your shot I guarantee we will be riding on every single 1 of y'all."

Paul LaPolice, Winnipeg's head coach, was not pleased by the vitriol that was spewed by the Argo players, taking his concerns to the CFL head office.

"I spoke to the league about it," said LaPolice. "Whoever's doing that, should be disciplined by the league, whether it's our club or their club. That's not what we're about in the Canadian Football League. It's not an eye-for-an-eye. They said, 'We're looking into it."

He added, in his opinion, the act was not an intent to injure.

"Johnny's wrong. He admits it. He wasn't doing anything malicious. He's a fast player who just made a mistake. Things happen fast out there. I told him what he did was wrong, but I don't think the kid's a malicious kid in any way, shape or form. So I don't understand the people going after him. Things happen fast on the field. He'll learn from the mistake and he'll be better for it. I'm sure the league will look into it and levy a fine if it was a blow to the head."

The CFL will no doubt deal with the play in question this week, and determine what the next move will be.

The bigger issue, and one that will be a concern for the league, is how to prevent the players from taking to twitter, and acting like twits?

Ted Michaels is the host of the Fifth Quarter, on AM 900 CHML.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Ted Michaels at
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